Currently Being ModeratedJan 26, 2013 4:17 PM (in response to BioRich)
Mail.app is happy to have local (and unshared) folders/mailboxes on the local system, and folders/mailboxes located on the mail server.
I use a combination of multiple folders/mailboxes on the mail servers, and multiple email accounts, and local folders/mailboxes. Copy messages around as required. Preferably transitioning mail messages automatically, where that's feasible. Smart folders are just a form of message filter, they're not used to relocate messages. Use Mail.app rules or (better) server-side message filtering and processing to shovel the messages around, where you can.
Better still and in general, transition the important bits of the data tsunami out of mail and into some package or tool targeted more toward whatever it is you're doing. Customer or contact managers or any number of related packages exist, and provide far more tailored solutions than are possible with traditional mail.
I know folks that do the "Inbox Zero" stuff. Never good figure out why. If that's your preference, then why not simply delete all messages at the end of the day? You're done for the day, and have handled all that you can, you've used rules and server filters and settings and tools, and the rest of the inevidtable tsunami is just, well, so much noise or stress or backlog or whatever you want to call it. Nuke it. Move on. Done.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 26, 2013 4:16 PM (in response to MrHoffman)
OK, so when I create a new mailbox, I choose an IMAP account, so this resides on the server?
How do you implement server-side message filtering? Not clear how to do that.
For the moment, I'd like to keep it inside Mail. 98% of the time I'm on top of it. I just need access while mobile.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 26, 2013 4:35 PM (in response to BioRich)
In Mail.app left column, scroll down to the bottom and you'll see a list of the "ancillary" folders present within each account on the server. (You may have to click "show" to the right of the account name, if the folders have been hidden.) When you create a mailbox (Mailbox > Create Mailbox > select the Location pop-up) scroll down to the bottom of the list, where you'll find the names of the Accounts. Select one of those accounts, and you'll have created that new mailbox on the associated mail server.
Server mail rules are briefly described in the Mail Service Administration manual, implemented via Cyrus Sieve, and some Internet RFCs; RFC 5228 and RFC 5429 and the (superceded, older) RFC 3028. Using these rules requires editing the server configuration files directly; it's not available via the GUI. There are some sample Sieve scripts in Appendix B of the mail manual. (There may be an add-on Sieve GUI tool around somewhere, I haven't looked.)
While you're undoubtedly quite comfortable with Mail, Mail is a surprisingly poor fit for what most folks are using it for. Everybody is using Mail differently, too, which means Mail is very generic. Again, do look around for alternatives for your activities, whether it's (for instance) SugarForge CRM or some other package; something tailored more for whatever it is that you're doing...